Who's Worth $100 to Message on Facebook?
A new Facebook feature tests how much people are willing to pay to message strangers.
CREDIT: Fulllife | Shutterstock.com
Some Facebook users are getting a message that offers them the ability to send a message straight into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's inbox, Mashable discovered. They just have to be willing to grease the way with $100.
Any messenger who's not friends with Zuckerberg and doesn't pay the $100 will get his message sent to Zuckerberg's "Other" message box instead of his inbox. The Other box acts as a spam folder, holding messages Facebook algorithms have identified as coming from someone with few connections to the recipient.
The striking workaround offer is actually Facebook's way of testing "extreme price points" to see what will discourage spammers, a Facebook spokesperson told Mashable. Since December, Facebook has been testing whether people are willing to pay $1 to send messages to strangers' inboxes.
Facebook is hoping that a priced gate will help its messaging system strike the right balance between not bothering users with messages they don't want and showing users important messages from strangers. The idea is that strangers must to be motivated enough to pay to get their emails seen. In a blog post, Facebook gave a couple examples: An audience member at a talk might be willing to pay to message the speaker, or job applicant could pay a small amount to message a hiring manager.
Facebook isn't the first to think of using a price point as a natural spam filter. Experts have kicked the idea around for years, as TechCrunch reported, and LinkedIn asks users to pay at least $19.95 a month for the ability to message strangers. The professional network bills its paid message service as a "professional, credible" way to talk to people for whom users don't have any introduction or contact information.
The latest hundred-dollar test shows something else, however, TechCrunch wrote. Some Facebook personalities might be worth more than others, and might need higher price gates to keep the rabble out.